Stephan Guyanet and Chris Kresser talked a bit, on Chris' podcast about excess caloric intake can be stressful on cells and can have an inflammatory effect regardless of food quality. They also mentioned how the opposite (a caloric restriction) will have an anti-inflammatory effect. I think this is generally a well accepted concept.
My question, however, is what the differences might be, if any, between consuming your daily calories in 1 to 2 large meals versus multiple smaller meals if the total caloric intake is the same in both scenarios. For example, if one consumed 1,500 calories daily, it is probably likely there would be a calorie deficit and that the lower number of calories and roughage to be broken down and assimilated by digestion would lower stress and inflammation. However, would there be any difference on cellular stress, digestive health, and inflammation if that food was taken in, say, all at once, daily at dinner? Or would inflammation be lower by consuming three or four smaller meals throughout the day?
I am not one to put a ton of value on caloric intake. I tend to value food quality much more for balancing hormones and ideal gene signaling but I'm curious about caloric intakes effect on inflammation. I IBS and at times I will feel much better doing 1-2 meals a day but then at others I will feel far too bloated after such a large dinner and will do better with smaller meals throughout the day.
On the one hand, I feel that more frequent meals would keep cortisol levels lower, and would limit the acute stress on digestion of a very large daily meal. Where as with 1-2 larger meals you will benefit from giving the digestion system 16-24 hours of rest in between meals and you gain all the benefits of intermittent fasting. Has anyone looked into this before or seen any studies comparing the two situations? Would love any help.